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HE Shared Legal is a national shared legal guidance and support service for the UK higher education sector.

HE Shared Legal provides ad hoc legal guidance to subscriber institutions in relation to individual enquiries.  In addition, we circulate generic guidance in the form of a regular newsletter highlighting legal developments of relevance to the sector.  We also offer a legal services consultancy service, which is available to all HE institutions.

Newsletter Issue 113

The following Topics are covered in this Newsletter: Employment: Material factor needs to explain but not justify pay disparity (Court of Appeal); Reasonable adjustment includes undertaking by Employer. Data Protection: ICO Issues updated statement on Schrems II judgement; Governance: New Points-based immigration system rules for International Students; Department of Education: Updated guidance for HEIs in England ahead of new term; Charity: HMRC updates policy on digital advertising services to charities. FAQ: When is Covid related SSP payable.
Read Full Article…

Newsletter issue 112

The topics covered in this issue include: Procurement: ECJ: Preclusion of non-profit-making bodies from participating in public procurement procedure even though entitled to offer same services under national law deemed unlawful PPN 04/20: Recovery and transition from...

Newsletter issue 111

The topics covered in this issue include: Employment: Self-isolation after contact tracing deemed incapacity for SSP; Breach of confidentiality clause did not entitle employer to cease settlement payments; ACAS publishes guidance on conducting disciplinary and...

Newsletter issue 110

The topics covered in this issue include: Employment: Supreme Court: Employer not vicariously liable for data breach by employee; Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme opens; New Regulations come into force providing for SSP for those in isolation Data Protection: ICO...

Newsletter Issue 109

The topics covered in this issue are as follows: Employment: EHRC publishes guidance on harassment and victimisation in workplace Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 ACAS guidance for employers on the use of non-disclosure agreements Data protection: ICO...

Newsletter Issue 108

The topics covered in this issue are as follows: Data protection: ICO accountability consultation Charity: Charity Commission issues updated safeguarding guidance Charity Commission and anti-cybercrime agency publish report and guidance Employment: EHRC guidance on...

Governance: OfS and standard student contract templates

The Office for Students (OfS), which is the main regulator of higher education in England, has been asked by the Department for Education to consider options for setting out students’ consumer rights in the form of standard contract templates. In a letter to OfS dated...

Employment: NI Court of Appeal: reasonable adjustments and autism

In British Telecommunications PLC v Kevin Owen Meier [2019] NICA 43 the Northern Ireland (NI) Court of Appeal considered whether an employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments to a psychometric test in relation to a neuro-diverse job applicant. Mr Meier...

FAQs

Frequently asked questions

What is HE Shared Legal?

HE Shared Legal is a shared, non-profit-making, legal guidance and support service for HE institutions throughout the UK.

What does HE Shared Legal do?

There are three main elements to our work:

  • Shared, “in-house” legal service – providing guidance and support with (ie generally answering) specific legal enquiries in the manner of an in-house lawyer
  • Generic guidance – publication of regular newsletters and FAQs on a wide range of legal topics of relevance to HEIs
  • Legal services consultancy – assistance and support with the selection, engagement, instruction and,if required, ongoing monitoring of external legal advisers
What is the significance of the ‘in-house’ aspect?

As far as possible, HE Shared Legal works with institution representatives on a friendly, informal basis, as if the HE Shared Legal lawyer was physically embedded within the institution concerned. We also endeavour to establish a strong working relationship with the relevant HEI managers and a sound understanding of the institution and its approach to governance, risk management, etc.

What areas of law are covered?

The service deals with nine broad areas of law, as follows:

  • Employment
  • Property
  • Charity
  • Environmental
  • Commercial Agreements (including procurement law)
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Corporate and governance
  • Tax, insurance and pensions
  • Intellectual Property and IT law
Are there any other aspects to the work of HE Shared Legal?

In addition to the three main elements described above, the service also offers the following:

  • Preliminary transaction and case planning
  • Trouble shooting
  • The conduct of joint projects
  • The development of standard procedures and documents
What are the limits to the HE Shared Legal service, ie what does HE Shared Legal not do?

The service has no mandate to deal with the following:

  • Provide professional legal advice, with the benefit of legal liability (as opposed to informal, legal ‘guidance’ and ‘support’)
  • Represent institutions in relation to dealings with third parties
  • Conduct cases or transactions, although preliminary case/transaction planning is provided

Where support of this nature is required, HE Shared Legal will be happy to assist with the selection and engagement, on competitive terms, of suitable specialist legal advisers.

Who are the typical users of the service?

The service may be used by any nominated representative within a subscriber institution. Typically, the users of the service will be senior managers from one or more of the following disciplines:

  • Finance
  • Commercial
  • Governance
  • HR
  • Estates
  • Registry
  • Procurement
When did the service start?

The service opened for business on 1 May 2012.

How is HE Shared Legal funded?

Having been funded initially by HEFCE grant, the service is now financed by subscription fees from subscriber institutions.  We also offer legal services consultancy to other HEIs and relevant sector bodies.

How much is the subscription?

The current subscription fee is £10,000, exclusive of VAT, covering the period of twelve months from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021. There are no additional usage or other charges.

How is the service staffed?

There are four members of staff – all lawyers qualified in Scotland as solicitors.  One lawyer is also qualified to practise law in Greece, and another to practise in Nigeria and in England and Wales.  All four have a predominantly commercial background, which is suited to the ‘business to business’ character and ‘employer-side’ role of much of their work.

What legal form does the service take?

HE Shared Legal Limited is a company limited by guarantee, managed by its employee directors.  The company is planning in the longer term to convert the service from a subscription basis to a full VAT cost sharing group or some other suitable structure involving a measure of ‘ownership’ by the subscribing institutions.

Finally, what are the main benefits of the service?

The principal benefits of a subscription to HE Shared Legal are as follows:

  • Ready access to experienced legal resources at low cost
  • Potential to achieve substantial savings on external legal fees
  • Assistance with development of good practice and assurance
  • Access to sector-wide intelligence and contacts on legal issues
  • Part of the HEI ‘corporate armoury’

For further information, please contact HE Shared Legal on 0141 237 5880 or enquiries@hesharedlegal.ac.uk.